Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Lively. Interesting personal background. Also a moving read.
on 8 October 2017
It is well written often with very telling descriptions - for example of the Berlin Olympics of 1936 which Bartmann watched on television (there were special tv centres) because tickets were too expensive.
Here is a youth from a humble background as a baker attracted by the glamour of an elite army formation. Tall and with Aryan good looks, he was accepted for training and was delighted to escape from his humdrum job.
I was fascinated by his army training because I was able to compare this with my own British army training in the 1950s. He was involved in the attack on Russia, ultimately leading to disillusion as the Russian winter exposed the weaknesses of army logistics, particularly the lack of winter clothing, though his loyalty to Hitler held was not in question, nor was his faith in victory.
Recuperating from wounds, in Berlin, he witnessed the devastation of the capital, but at this stage he still believed that Germany could avoid defeat. He was given the job of training 16 and 17 year old boys for defensive roles. Later, with his raw recruits in defensive positions, he realised for the first time that defeat was not only likely but inevitable.
Bartmann became a prisoner of war, first with the Americans, then the British, ending up in Edinburgh where after his release he resumed life as a baker.